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The NV4500 transmission was born out of merger of General Motors and Chrysler division design groups.
The merger of these areas from the companies took on the name “New Venture.” This served as a co-development that was to be used by each in some of the heavier duty applications such as the GM full size pickups and Dodge Ram trucks.
This transmission was more specifically used in the GMC and Chevrolet 2500/3500 trucks for both the Sierra and Silverado.
On the Chrysler side the NV4500 was exclusively used in the Dodge Ram, although a different order code was used depending on whether 5.9L V8 engine was used or the 5.9L Cummins diesel / 8.0L V10.
The NV4500 was the first transmission produced by the merged company titled New Venture. This transmission was first brought into production in 1992 for both the GM trucks and the Dodge Ram. The transmission was available until 2007 when it was finally phased out for both applications.
Pros and Cons
This transmission was meant for heavy duty applications and was designed for that specifically. The NV4500 was a very strong transmission and is popular for people that need a transmission that can handle a lot of torque.
It is also quite common for people to convert this transmission to be joined with other engines as many conversion kits are available.
One of the most common failures of this transmission is the 3rd and 4th gear synchronization ring failures. A common reason for this failure was due to the incorrect transmission fluid being used, as this transmission requires a specific type for lubrication.
NV4500 Performance Specs
The NV4500 transmission is a 5 speed manual transmission. This extra gear makes it a common conversion for trucks with 4 speed transmissions.
This trans is rated for 460 lb-ft of torque, but can likely handle significantly more. The NV4500 is longitudinally oriented top loading transmission.
As this was designed by New Venture, specifically bearing in mind the heavy duty applications required by the companies from which New Venture was formed, the transmission was created to handle a max GVW of 14,500 pounds.
The initial release had different gear ratios depending on whether it was going in a GM or Dodge application.
For MT8 applications, the gear ratio selected was 6.34 for 1st, 3.44 for 2nd, 1.71 for 3rd, 1 for 4th and 0.73 for 5th.
For MW3, the gears were 5.61 for 1st, 3.04 for 2nd, 1.67 for 3rd, 1 for 4th, and 0.73 for 5th.
Size and Construction
The NV4500 was made for heavy duty applications, and the transmission was made from the heavy duty materials to handle this load.
The NV4500 has a main case made from cast iron. The top cover for this transmission is constructed from aluminum, while the tail housing can be made from either aluminum or cast iron, depending on the variant selected.
This transmission comes in at a length of 18.9 inches, but due to its cast iron material it weighs in at 195 pounds. The oil capacity for this transmission comes in right at 1 gallon.
The NV4500 was the initial product released by the unlikely merger of transmission divisions from General Motors and Chrysler. This 5 speed manual transmission was first released in production vehicles in 1992 and lasted until 2007.
The NV4500 was meant to handle heavy duty applications and a lot of power. This is evident by the cast iron main housing. The transmission was designed to handle a max GVW of 14,500 pounds. This is also a popular aftermarket conversion transmission for people who need to handle more power but like the idea of having a 5th gear that has overdrive capability.
Photo via FourWheeler